THROWING BRICKS – Sludge, screamo and black metal in the sign of hardcore’s early days

by Sara Di Gaspero

Versione italiana

Black metal/sludge band Throwing Bricks has released its debut album, “What Will Be Lost”, May 15th for Tartarus Records. We’ve asked them some questions after listening to their interesting musical mix… (here you can read our review)

Hi, I’m Sara from MetalPit! It is a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to ask you some questions, so thank you for your time! Please introduce yourselves for our readers!

Hi Sara, you’re welcome. Thanks for your invite! We’re a band called Throwing Bricks, based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. We started making music a couple of years ago, when our guitarist Marius and singer Niels decided they wanted to make music in the vein of acts like Orchid, Saetia and Pg.99. Screamo, but with a hardcore punk approach. Over the years, our sound extended a lot. Nowadays our band has 5 members. We try to play the best possible mixture of sludge, screamo and black metal with the hardcore intensity of the early days.

Why did you choose Throwing Bricks as your moniker?

The name “Throwing Bricks” is derived from a song by California hardcore punk band Ceremony. It’s a pretty catchy and aggressive name that we came up with in our early days as a band. We are still big fans of Ceremony to this day, and the name just stuck. As a nod to them, we named the drone-inspired centerpiece of our album after them.

 What was the major inspiration behind “What Will Be Lost”?

For the most part, “What Will Be Lost” deals with the fear of loss. Whether it’s a person you love and care about, losing face or losing a possession, we all know the feeling of losing something or someone. It leaves a permanent mark on our lives. Apart from this, there’s not really a main inspiration for the album. We create the music and artwork that we want to create.

Which bands do you take your inspiration from, considering the numerous influences that one can find in your songs?

There are quite some bands we see as a influence. Big names like Amenra and Neurosis that started out as crust punk and hardcore bands but now make a crushing sludge/post-metal for example. Of course we also have to name Thou, a band with a very broad yet easy to recognize sound.

There are of course lots of artists that are inspiring us to make music, even if the end result doesn’t sound like they might be an inspiration. screamo bands like Orchid, Pg. 99 and Saetia were a big reason why this band was started in the first place, and those bands are still an influence to this day. Some others are Kickback, Discordance Axis, Jesu and Ultha.

Does every member of the band put his own musical taste in the writing process?

Most of our songs original concepts are written by our guitarist Marius. He takes an idea, riff or complete track he made with him to our rehearsal space. Then we try to figure out what we would like to do with it. Little pieces of music get scraped and added until we are satisfied with the result. We all participate in the writing process, but don’t let our own musical tastes get in the way.

We all have a pretty broad taste, but other musical endeavours and creative projects for those interests to shine. For example, a lot of us are into hiphop and industrial music. Those are genres you wouldn’t really hear back in a Throwing Bricks track though.

The live aspect of the band is very important to you, and you try to convey that feeling in the recording studio. You already did that with “Self-Distancing”, was it difficult to replicate that energy with “What Will Be Lost”?

A big part in the songwriting process is playing the songs live. While our sound has changed over the years, the way we approach shows has not. It’s important to us that our music still has that punk intensity to it. The most important criterion is that tracks give the same cathartic experience on a record as they do on stage.

Our sound was quite different when we did “Self-Distancing”. That record was tracked as a band live in the studio with some parts dubbed over afterwards. For the sound we had then it was perfect, but our sound has changed a lot since then so we’ve tried a different approach. This time we tracked each instrument separately, which allowed us to focus more on our individual performances and to get them as tight as possible. We took great care to play our parts with as much energy as we do live, and we did a pretty good job doing that, if we can say so ourselves.

Talking about live concerts, the COVID-19 situation has highly affected tours and gigs worldwide. Are you afraid for the future or are you optimistic that you will go back on stage sa soon as possible?

We’re really bummed that we can’t present our new songs live right now. We’ve already played most of these songs in front of an audience, but doing this to people that have actually heard the record from front to back is a completely different experience.

It will probably take a while before venues will open their doors and we and other bands can hit the stage again. We’re not afraid for the future, but will try to get back out there stronger than ever. Hopefully sooner than later.

Are you having any new ideas during this awful pandemic?

Next to not being able to play shows during this time, it’s also really difficult to rehearse. However, we’re currently working on a livestream performance to fit our album release. We have lots of ideas that we can hopefully figure out in the next couple of months.

Where do you take inspiration from when writing the lyrics?

Reoccuring themes in Throwing Bricks songs are: loneliness, sadness, hopelessness and fear. Inspiration comes from our own experiences and those of others. Vivid dreams, sleeping disorders and science fiction also have a lot of impact on the lyrics that Niels writes.

One final question:  What holds the future for Throwing Bricks?

Hopefully as much (international) shows as we can play when this pandemic is over. Next to that, we’ll keep recording music while expanding our sound even more!

Thank you so much and good luck for your future carrier!

Thanks Sara! Take care and keep up the good work over at Metalpit.

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